One of the groups I am proudly involved with in Parliament is the “Save the pub” All Party Group.
It is a cause that I personally feel very strongly about and it is an issue I know that countless local people feel strongly about too.
For generations pubs have been right at the heart of our communities.
They are somewhere we go to meet friends, to socialise, to host important family events, and to unwind after a hard week at work.
In many places they serve as an important part of the areas character, appearance, and the local economy. In certain parts of the country their decline, alongside the decline of many high streets, has come to symbolise the problems our communities face in coping with the effects of economic downturn and its impact on our civic life.
Helping pubs survive the downturn is important if we want to create and maintain communities where a sense of pride and belonging can be retained, and because without them, I think our towns and villages would be poorer.
Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale, and Dukinfield all have good local pubs that have survived in hard times and help put our area on the map.
Not only does Stalybridge have the Guinness Record for the pubs with the shortest and longest names, it is also home to the fabulous Buffet Bar, which has been a unique part of the areas character for a very long time.
And to top it off, the Good Beer Guide, an annual publication from the Campaign for Real Ale, now includes four of Stalybridge’s finest pubs - the Buffet Bar, the White House, Society Rooms, and Stalybridge Labour Club!
Last week I had the privilege of visiting Tickety Brew, a local brewery ran by husband and wife team Duncan and Keri Barton, who have decided to make Stalybridge the home of their fantastic bottled ales.
Tickety Brew isn’t the only brewery in the area either. Millstone Brewery of Mossley has been doing well for a number of years, and we were even able to get some of their beer on sale in one of the bars in the Houses of Parliament!
All of these are great examples of the work being done locally to preserve the role of our pubs and are something we should all be extremely proud of.